Michael Wear, who served as faith outreach director for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, criticized fellow Democrats for being so focused on abortion that they are relinquishing ground in on other political issues. Speaking to Fox News show host Tucker Carlson on Tuesday, Wear said that Obama once said that the number of abortions "should be reduced," while the Democrat party once contended that abortion should be "safe, legal and rare."
Carlson played videos of Democrats Sens. Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, and Kirsten Gillibrand, who forcefully argued for their right to an abortion. Wear commented, "Democratic victory seemed secondary to them" of Democrats who focus on the abortion issue. He said that in one key race, in which incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania narrowly defeated Democrat Katie McGinty, support for abortion may have decisive. McGinty campaigned as fervent pro-abortion candidate, but Toomey campaigned as prolife. Democrats, Wear said, should see that there is a "cost" for such an "unapologetic approach."
In an article he wrote in July, Wear stated that Democrats see the Supreme Court and abortion politics as nearly synonymous. In fact, he noted that the director of MoveOn.org recently noted that the “essential” issue for Democrats is abortion. On Carlson’s show, Wear stated that Democrats have a number of other issues to consider in the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. “Well there is a range of implications of Kavanaugh filling this seat that concern Democrats from a Democratic policy perspective from immigration to voting rights to corporate power and workers protection, and yet out of the gate it seemed like the only thing the Supreme Court was going to rule on was abortion,” Wear stated.
Wear’s article was about the Democrats’ focus on Kavanaugh’s possible impact on legal abortion apparently overwhelms other issues. “You saw major activists and even some Democratic leaders say that the preeminent focus was on Roe V. Wade, which to many Democratic voters and I think many Americans, seems a bit off,” he added.
“The party has moved quite a bit on this issue but it’s been a relatively recent move. It used to be that Democratic Party, throughout the party, people called for abortion to be safe, legal and rare,” Wear continued. “Barack Obama called as president for the number of abortions to be reduced. We actually saw the abortion rate in this country to reach its all-time low.”
In July, Wear wrote in the Los Angeles Times:
“Out of all the pressing issues the Supreme Court confronts, why should abortion marshal such attention?
“Until 2016, Democrats approached abortion as a ‘tragic choice’ that nonetheless should remain generally legal and accessible out of deference to women’s health and autonomy. This posture left room in the party for those who support something less than an absolute right to terminate any pregnancy for any reason. A decade earlier, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) had affirmed the wisdom of that strategy in his book ‘Positively American,’ a manifesto about how Democrats could permanently ‘win back the middle-class majority.’ His single chapter on a woman’s right to choose was titled ‘Reduce Abortions by 50%.’
“That platform helped Democrats achieve majorities in Congress in 2006 and helped put Barack Obama in the White House after eight years of George W. Bush. But the architects of the modern pro-choice movement wanted more.
“When Hillary Clinton was nominated in 2016, Planned Parenthood, NARAL and other groups saw a chance to push a much more aggressive pro-choice position. A Washington Post profile of Cecile Richards, the former head of Planned Parenthood, described the plan this way: ‘Gone is the vaguely conciliatory mantra of the past, the ideal of keeping abortion ‘safe, legal and rare’ once advocated by Bill and Hillary Clinton. ... [The] party platform … is pushing, for the first time, for full Medicaid funding for abortions. It’s a bold move that positively courts controversy.’”